The Illusion of Certainty Sun, Oct 25, 2015
Happy Monday, ya'll!
As promised, the spookiness continues...
Everybody likes to feel safe. And, to a degree, humans are much safer than we've ever been. We don't have to worry about being stabbed by roaming bandits, or dying to the common cold. We can undergo surgery without feeling pain or getting an infection from our doctor's dirty hands. However, the spooky news is this: even now, our sense of security and safety are NOT REAL. By getting into your car, you are taking a huge risk. There are a myriad of illnesses that can strike without warning. Heck, statistically, taking a shower is a somewhat dangerous proposal (6000 people per year die in bathroom falls). Our existence is fragile and precarious, and largely outside of our control.
However, there are two ways of reacting to this news: with fear, or with gratitude. When we encounter a situation we perceive as risky, we experience it as fear. We are hard-wired to focus on things that could possibly do us harm. But it does us no good to be paralyzed by the risk of things we cannot control. So, instead of obsessing over being safe or unsafe, appreciate the fragility of life, and make the most of it. This might sound kind of silly, but I read this somewhere once, and I now do it every day. When I wake up, I say this aloud: "It's a good day to be alive." Because it IS. Every day we clock on this planet is the universe giving us another shot. So, here's the bittersweet news:
All we can do is our best with the time we have. So do yours!